‘Mesh’ is a broad term used to describe a number of different types of manufactured biological or synthetic implantable devices. Mesh is used in a range of surgical procedures to support tissues. In obstetrics and gynaecology (O&G), mesh is one option for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and pelvic organ prolapse (POP).
For many women, surgical procedures using mesh provide an effective form of treatment for the distressing pelvic floor problems. However, some women experience serious complications.
As of 10 July 2018, a period of high vigilance restriction is in place regarding use of vaginal mesh in England (1,2).
Oxford mesh centre
Oxford mesh centre is one of the BSUG/RCOG accredited units treating women who have significant mesh problems following surgery for SUI or POP where mesh was inserted.
We are focused on giving women affected by mesh complications the best possible treatment by a minimally invasive laparoscopic approach at which we are particularly experienced and skilled. This approach offers much quicker recovery with less pain. A laparoscopic approach is especially effective at removing mesh/tapes that have eroded into the bladder or urethra. We also offer women laparoscopic native tissue continence surgery after mesh has been removed.
We comply with all BSUG/RCOG Governance requirements, including:
- complying with set criteria for discussing all women requiring surgery at a joint meeting to help determine best treatment options
- submitting data on all women undergoing surgery onto the national database and reporting them to MHRA
If you experience any complications, you must inform your healthcare professional, eg. your doctor (GP). There is a central database of units that can see women who are experiencing significant problems following mesh surgery for SUI or POP. Your healthcare professional will be able to refer you to one of these units.
Your doctor should report the complication to a national registry – this is to ensure the NHS has full details of the number and type of complications experienced by women across the country in order to make informed decisions about future guidance. You can also report complications yourself, directly to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency via their website, which also includes FAQs for members of the public.
There are a number of patient groups which can provide information and support: